What is a Vertebral Compression Fracture?

Vertebral compression fractures are collapses in the spine caused by osteoporosis, trauma/injury, and diseases that affect bone strength. Trauma or injury causing a vertebral compression fracture can occur with a fall from a high height (falling from a tree, landing hard when skydiving) in which the person puts a hard impact on the spine when landing on their feet or buttocks.

It can also occur during a car accident. Osteoporosis, cancer and Paget’s Disease are examples of conditions that also weaken the spine and leave a patient more vulnerable to a compression fracture. Often lower back is the complaint but it can also occur in the mid, upper back or neck and the pain may radiate to the hip, abdominal, or thigh pain. Numbness, tingling, and weakness may also be present.